Bali Suitcase Murder - USA Couple sent to Jail


Bali Suitcase Murder - USA Couple Jailed

An American couple were jailed by an Indonesian court Tuesday after being convicted of murdering the woman's mother. Her body was found inside a suitcase.

The Denpasar District Court found Tommy Schaefer, 21, guilty of beating socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, to death in a hotel room on the island of Bali on Aug. 12 and sentenced him to 18 years in jail, the Associated Press reported.

Heather Mack, 19, Schaefer's girlfriend and von Wiese-Mack's daughter, was convicted of helping him and she was sentenced to 10 years in jail following a trial in the same court.
Bali Suitcase Murder - USA Couple Jailed

The case generated headlines around the world after von Wiese-Mack's body was found stuffed in a suitcase outside the St. Regis Hotel, where the three, all from Chicago, were staying.

"Taking into account Chapter 340 of the criminal code and other related laws, (the panel) declared that the defendant Tommy Schaefer has been legally and convincingly guilty of committing premeditated murder," said Judge Made Suweda, reading the verdict aloud in court, the AP reported.

During his trial, Schaefer said von Wiese-Mack was angry when she found out her daughter was pregnant, and tried to strangle him, leading him to hit her with metal fruit bowl.

Prosecutors said Mack sat on the suitcase containing her mother's body to allow Schaefer to close it. The couple put the suitcase in the trunk of a taxi outside the hotel and told the driver they were going to check out and would return, but never did prosecutors said, according to the AP.
Bali Suitcase Murder - USA Couple Jailed

The judge described Schaefer's actions as sadistic, but said his politeness and an expression of remorse meant he did not get a heavier sentence. The court decided to be lenient toward Mack because she recently gave birth.

Mack gave birth last month in a hospital near the jail where she and Schaefer were being held, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The paper said that Mack had feared the baby would be born in prison because she did not have the funds for a partial down payment to the hospital, but her attorney, Anthony Scifo, said that he wired money to Indonesia after negotiating an agreement with her uncle, who controls her $1.56 million trust fund until her 30th birthday.

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